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What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite Before Getting a Dog Bite Lawyer

It’s no secret dogs are humankind’s best friends, but what happens when they go rogue? While many breeds have reputations for being either aggressive or docile, the fact remains that any dog can bite and should be treated with respect. When dog owners fail to control their pets or a stray dog ventures too close, a dog bite incident may occur. If you or your loved one have suffered a dog bite, keep reading to learn what to do next before contacting your dog bite lawyer.

Seek Medical Attention Before Contacting a Dog Bite Lawyer

Depending on the severity of the dog bite, you may need to call 911 immediately to prevent major medical events like blood loss. While some dog bites seem only moderately severe to an adult, children may experience greater danger from a bite and should be treated by an emergency medical professional. If the wound is a deep puncture, the skin is torn, the wound is bleeding profusely, you aren’t sure if the dog had rabies, or if you aren’t sure of the severity of the wound, contact 911 as soon as possible.

As you call your medical professional or emergency services, move yourself and the victim indoors away from the dog. Ensure the dog’s owner, if there is one, regains control of the dog as soon as possible to prevent further harm to emergency medical professionals that will arrive on the scene and others in the area.

Treat the Wound While You Wait for Medical Attention

While you wait for emergency services to arrive or prepare for a drive to a doctor’s office or urgent care, it’s vital to treat the wound temporarily for transport. Flush the wound liberally with clean water to reduce the risk of infection. Apply strong, firm pressure to the dog bite to stop bleeding as much as possible. Using medical gauze and tape, wrap the wound securely. Do not place any products into a puncture wound. Ensure the victim remains conscious and lucid. If a dog bite begins to ooze, change colors, or become swollen, this may be a sign of infection. Seek emergency medical help immediately.

Confirm Ownership of the Dog Responsible for the Bite

Most bites are perpetrated by dogs that are known to the victim. This may be a neighbor’s dog, a family member’s dog, or dogs a victim has met at dog parks before. If the victim knows the dog, confirm the owner is present. Animal control will need to get involved to keep others safe if the owner is not present or the dog is a stray. If the dog is unfamiliar yet does not appear to be a stray or the owner does not appear to be around, do not attempt to engage with the dog further to return it to its owner. Though a noble effort, the dog may still be in a heightened, threatened state and liable to bite again. Seek shelter indoors and call animal control.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer

Once the victim has received medical treatment, you may need to seek legal representation to reclaim the medical bills accrued for the dig bite incident. Contact a dog bite lawyer that can help you or your loved one recover compensation for your pain, lost wages, and bills. BD&J, PC, has spent decades representing many victims of dog bites as they pursue damages from negligent dog owners. Make sure you take photos of the wounds and keep medical records to bring with you to your first meeting with a BD&J dog bite lawyer. This can help your attorney determine the best course of action in bringing your claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of dogs bite?

All dogs bite. Though breeds like pit bulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers are most known for being aggressive, if a dog of any breed feels threatened, it will bite. Do not assume small dogs like corgis, chihuahuas, and shih-tzus will not bite or that their bites are not dangerous. Although many people mistakenly believe a dog will not bite them because they are familiar, if a human does not pay attention to a dog’s uncomfortable body language, it may resort to biting to communicate.

How long should I wait before seeking medical treatment?

If the bite wound is deep, torn, bleeding profusely, or appears infected, seek medical attention immediately. A trip to a primary care or urgent care may be more appropriate if the wound is not bleeding much, appears to only be an abrasion, or did not break the skin. Assume the worst and call 911 if you aren’t sure how severe the wound is.

Should I confront the owner?

Do not confront the owner of a dog that bit you or a loved one. Emotions are already heightened in the moment of a bite, further escalating the situation may delay medical care for the victim and may prime the dog to bite again if it senses its owner is being threatened.

How do I know if a dog is about to bite?

Dogs do not bite without warning. Every dog communicates through body language. It is your and the owner’s responsibility when interacting with a dog to respect the dog’s body language and space. If a dog is crouched low with ears back; standing stiff with a tall, stiff tail; has its hackles up; is “grinning” or baring its teeth; hangs its tail between its legs; leans away from you; has wide, dilated eyes; or is growling, immediately back off and give the dog plenty of space. It’s feeling stressed, frightened, and aggressive.

How to Find a Dog Bite Lawyer

If a dog has bitten you or a loved one as a result of a negligent owner, contact a BD&J dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. Follow these steps to get in touch with an attorney and start bringing your claim.

  1. Collect evidence and documentation of your dog bite wound. This information helps us build a case on your behalf and make a claim for recovery. Keep photos of your injury and the scene where the bite took place, medical records, testimonies from witnesses, and anything else that may be important to proving negligence.  
  2. Contact our personal injury team here. Complete our form to receive a call from one of our team members regarding your potential case. Our lawyers will review the information you provide and begin the process of filing.   
  3. Stay in contact with us. Our personal injury attorneys will be keeping you informed as your claim progresses. However, we empower our clients to participate in their claim and may need to discuss the process with you. 

Representing Dog Bite Victims Across California

With the rise of off-leash dog walking and leash-free dog parks, the risk of dog bites has climbed. If a dog has bitten you or a loved one due to a negligent owner, BD&J, PC, is on your side to reclaim the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, and more. For decades our team has treated our clients like family, putting in the hard work to ensure their recovery is fair. BD&J serves Californians statewide. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a consultation with a BD&J dog bite lawyer today!